Thing is, there just isn't as much available out there for the high-school teacher. The big conference most of the teachers usually go to up in Europe is mostly directed at Elementary and Jr. High. But I did find one thing. I'm planning on teaching AP Biology two years from now, when we've got the equipment for the program and have time to plan it, so I thought I pursue one of the AP Training conferences I saw advertised. They have one in B.C., which is close to where I'm based in the U.S. But there's also one in Hawaii. Making this a very difficult choice.
I used to live in this, the finest state in the union, years ago, back in the shire...But it's been 2 decades since I've been back, and so it was with great relish that I got off the plane in the Land of Aloha. I tried to save GWA some money, and stayed in the cheaper hotels. This was a bad choice. Though close to the water, the first had large stains and poor accommodations. The second was much similar, except lacking in basic amenities. Through the week I ended up upgrading to one that was mediocre at least, though around $120 a night. My first hotel was just down the street from the sculpture of the great Duke, father of surfing and patron saint of Collin.
When I lived here, we spent a year on the Big Island, and a year on Oahu. So there were sights and sounds here in Honolulu that were familiar to me. But it seemed also much changed. Much heavier Japanese influence than I remembered- it could have increased, or I just didn't remember well enough. It was different. Different being here as a tourist too.
The conference has been going well. We are trained extensively especially in laboratory procedures, as there are set labs that must be done for the AP class. They speak a lot about how standards will shortly be imposed for all AP classes, and not just the tests, so that everyone around the world is getting the same AP education. It seems like a lot of work, for both teacher and student. I would wish for more training in updating my biology as well, but I have learned some significant information. Like, evidently, they (as always, meaning rich white men) have completely revamped higher taxonomy in the last couple years, so now we have to learn Domains, above Kingdoms. Now there are 3 Domains, and innumerable new Kingdoms- literally, no one has figured out how many at the moment. There's just too great of a difference between bacteria, early bacteria, and everyone else. Since my classes tend to be heavy on the taxonomy, this is going to lead to some major changes in how I teach, and a lot of new information for me to learn.
I've taken some time to wander around the city also. There's one very wicked store that has fish swimming all around you in glass, so that it looks like you are in the middle of a giant fish bowl. You could look right through the glass to people shopping, or imagine you're swimming with the fishes just like the promise in New Jersey.
And the Burger King is right next to King Kamehameha Square, where they have a daily changing of the guard, in this, the only place of the U.S. which was previously an independent Kingdom. (And along with Texas, California, and Vermont, once an independent nation.) The mock soldiers twirl their guns quite fast, in the air, too fast for a simple digital camera to catch, catching them and throwing them to each other as they strut through the square.